‘Sham marriages’: why Europe needs to get off its high horse

Mixed marriages are viewed suspiciously by European immigration officers. Wikimedia Commons Apostolos Andrikopoulos, University of Amsterdam “Why do you want to marry a Nigerian?”, a visa officer at a European embassy in Nigeria asked Helen while her partner was interviewed in a nearby room. “I’m asking this more as a father than an officer,” the man added. “Because I love him,” Helen answered. Marriages with non-European nationals, such as that of Helen and her Nigerian partner, are often suspected of being “sham” and subjected to strict controls. For immigration authorities, a “sham marriage” or a “marriage of convenience” is one that’s contracted with the purpose of enabling the migrant spouse to obtain a visa or a residence permit. The officer seemed to accept that Helen and her partner were in a relationship and planned to get married. But he was still doubting the motives of her Nigerian partner. “Do you see that?” he asked Helen, pointing with his finger to a buildi…
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Men feel stressed if their female partners earn more than 40% of household income – new research

Shutterstock/5 second Studio Joanna Syrda, University of Bath The best marriages are probably based on teamwork. But it seems individual contributions do matter – specifically, who earns how much of the household income. My research shows that in, heterosexual couples, men are happier when both partners contribute financially – but much prefer to be the main breadwinners. With stress levels high when they are sole breadwinners, men appear to be more relaxed when their wives or partners earn anything up to 40% of the household income. But their distress levels increase sharply as their spouse’s wages rise beyond that point. And they find it most stressful when they are entirely economically dependent on their partners. The findings are based on an analysis of over 6,000 married or cohabiting heterosexual couples over a period of 15 years. Levels of distress are calculated based on feeling sad, nervous, restless, hopeless, worthless, or that day to day life is an effort. M…
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